If you want big healthy vegetables you need a good soil. The first year we grew vegetables in raised beds the soil was loose all right. We dug a rectangular hole below the raised bed wooden frame to a depth of 30 cm (12 inch) below the ground. This soil we put aside and started filling up the hole with the good stuff. We’re talking box trailer full of horse manure and several 25 kg (55 pound) bags of peat moss. Then we put the soil back as a top layer but this turned out to be a bad idea. The horse manure and the peat moss got so compressed under the weight of the original soil that those two layer shrunk to about 10 cm (4 inch). The roots didn’t have a chance of reaching the good stuff, but the vegetables turned out well anyway.
This year it’s quite different because the beds were turned completely, so all of the 50 cm (20 inch) dirt inside the wooden frames was mixed very thoroughly. I’m very pleased with the vegetables this year, they’re very healthy and beautiful as you can see in the picture. The loose soil provides good draining of excessive rainwater, so that’s another bonus.